Authentic Sweet and Spicy Kimchi
When I met my husband ten years ago I knew absolutely nothing about Korean food. I knew it was a country, but had no idea what I was missing with regard to cuisine. It didn’t take long before I fell in love, with the food of course, I fell in love with my husband the day I met him.
The spices, the flavors, the appearance, not to mention the fact that you have about twenty different dishes to choose from in any given meal. I was in heaven. I couldn’t believe I had gone my entire life not knowing about this! Up until then, eating Taco Bell was considered exotic cuisine.
The kimchi is in a league of its own. It is spicy, tangy, flavorful, and just all around delicious. Finding the right brand, however, can be challenging. Each recipe has its own pros and cons. Some have the spice right on point, but could be lacking in flavor, while others are full of flavor, but don’t have enough spice for my taste.
As a mother of two young boys, eating healthy and sourcing ingredients that are free of pesticides and chemicals is important to me. I have been able to find a couple different organic kimchi brands, but the flavor was just, eh. It didn’t have what I was looking for.
I spent the last two years perfecting my recipe for the “perfect” kimchi and it is spot on. My husband raves constantly about how this is by far the best kimchi he has ever had. Let me tell you, this man has had a LOT of kimchi. He even went as far as saying it is better than his Mom’s kimchi! (For the love of God, please don’t tell my Mother in Law). It is customary for most Koreans to eat kimchi every day, often times with every meal. My husband is no exception. He also can be my toughest critic, so his approval carries some serious weight.
Making kimchi at home is quite time consuming. I highly suggest prepping the cabbage the night before so it will have a chance to dry out overnight. This will make things a WHOLE lot easier and will also yield better results. I also suggest checking out the video above for MAJOR time saving tricks. They will literally shave at least an hour off the prep time.
Although it does take some time to make, it is well worth the effort. The flavor is out of this world and the opportunities for kimchi dishes are endless. Not to mention, it is packed with nutrients and probiotics. We are learning more and more of the importance of gut health and kimchi is your ticket for all natural, SUPER healthy probiotics. No pills, no yucky drink mixtures, just real food that tastes real good.
Authentic Sweet & Spicy Kimchi
- 2 Cups Salt
- 1 Head Napa Cabbage
- 1 Cup Carrots Julienned
- 1 Cup Daikon Radish Julienned
- 2 Bunches Green Onion Sliced in 3 inch strips
- 1 Cup Water
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 2 TBS Glutinous Rice Flour
- 1 Cup Korean Red Pepper Flakes
- 1/4 Cup Korean Fish Sauce
- 2 Heads Sprouted Garlic Peeled
- 1 Large Onion
- 1 TBS Ginger
- 1 Apple Peeled and Cored
- Chop cabbage into 1″ squares, coat with 2 cups of salt in large mixing bowl and cover with water. Soak for at least 4 hours.
- Drain and rinse all the salt off of the cabbage. Use cheesecloth squeeze out as much water as possible and allow to dry in colander overnight, if possible.
- Prepare porridge by adding water, glutinous rice and sugar to small pot over medium heat. Cook until becomes thick, whisking constantly to prevent clumps. Cool in refrigerator while preparing vegetables and paste.
- Julienne daikon and carrots. Slice green onion into 3″ stalks.
- In food processor, add Red Pepper Flakes, fish sauce, garlic, onion, ginger and apple. Cover and mix until a thick paste has formed.
- Add vegetables to the cabbage and mix well by hand.Note: Now is a good time to put on some gloves.
- Add porridge to the vegetable mix. Massage porridge into every piece, ensuring that the entire mixture is coated.
- Mix in the kimchi paste by hand, adding a few scoops at a time and massage and mix well by hand until the vegetables are all coated evenly. It is easier to add slowly than it is to try and takes some of the paste away. Too much paste could throw off the flavor balance.
- Store kimchi in a glass container and refrigerate immediately. Also be sure to open the jar daily to release the pressure from the fermentation.
- IMPORTANT NOTE: If you do not release the pressure it will build up and either blow the cap off or bubble over when you open the jar later on down the line. I also suggest always opening ANY kimchi jar over the sink when you are ready to use it. It will save a great deal of time on cleanup if it bubbles over.